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Riverboat Casinos

Riverboat casinos were first legalized in Iowa in 1991 and their popularity has increased dramatically since that time. At first, gambling on riverboat casinos was limited to $5.00 bets and a maximum loss of $200.00 for each cruise passenger. Riverboat casinos gradually moved to Illinois and Mississippi, where there were no limits and casinos were open 24 hours a day. In 1994, riverboat casinos were introduced to Missouri, the last state to legalize riverboat casinos.

Riverboat casinos are legal in six states, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Missouri. They resemble the grand riverboats of the past; however, they seldom leave the shore and remain at dockside. The Mississippi riverboat casinos must be permanently docked, with gangplanks from the shore to the casino. Some riverboat casinos, “boats on moats,” are large barges with casinos on deck, designed to float on pools adjacent to the river. The majority of the riverboat casinos operate on the Missouri, Ohio, and Mississippi rivers, with the exception of Illinois, which allows them on the Des Plaines, Ohio, and Illinois rivers, as well. Each state has its own gambling restrictions for riverboat casinos, including number allowed, types of games, admission charges, number of hours spent in cruising, and amount of gambling time allowed.

 

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